A brazen bank robber brandishing a semi-auto handgun pepper-sprayed employees and demanded more money than a teller gave him in a frightening mid-day robbery of a bank in nearby Sierra Madre on Wednesday.
The FBI is investigating if the suspects are connected to a bank robbery crew that has robbed 24 banks in Los Angeles County since November 2015 — including one in Pasadena.
The man entered the Bank of the West at about 1 p.m. dressed in an all-white jumpsuit and wearing a mask before robbing employees and fleeing with another suspect in a car.
Sierra Madre Assistant City Manager Elisa Cox said it was fortunate there were no bank customers at the time of the robbery at the branch located in the 100 block of West Sierra Madre Blvd.
“At about 1 p.m., a male suspect entered the bank dressed in all white, wearing a painter’s mask and a wide-brimmed black hat,” Cox said. “He demanded money from the employees and pepper-sprayed them. Then he fled in a silver sedan with an unknown driver.”
Cox said they were expecting the FBI to be on the scene and that the city has meanwhile decided to close West Sierra Madre Blvd. where the bank was located, from the Hermosa intersection up to Windsor Lane.
The city closed Sierra Madre Boulevard between Hermosa Avenue and Windsor Lane for several hours as the Sierra Madre Police Department and the FBI investigated the robbery.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Sierra Madre Police Department, (626) 355-1414.